RB DuJuan Harris central to Packers’ offense in win : Packers Insider

RB DuJuan Harris central to Packers’ offense in win

January 6, 2013 by  
Filed under News

By Tyler Dunne, Journal-Sentinel

~GREEN BAY — All of these weapons, all of these investments and in the playoffs, the Green Bay Packers turn to….a practice-squad call-up from Troy. Of course.

In Green Bay’s 24-10 win over the Minnesota Vikings Saturday night, running back DuJuan Harris finished with 47 rushing yards on 17 carries with another 53 receiving yards on five receptions and one touchdown. It wasn’t always pretty. The Packers had five three-and-out possessions in the second half.

“I’m not really worried about my stats," Harris said. "I just worry about producing the best way I can to help the team win.

But Harris earned tough yards against a fast, aggressive Minnesota front. This was also the first time Green Bay really used the second-year back as a receiver. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers looked to Harris underneath early on as the Vikings’ sat back in coverage.

And by game’s end, Harris (100 total yards) wasn’t that far off Adrian Peterson’s pace. Peterson finished with 107 total yards (99 rushing, 8 receiving). For Green Bay, that’s a win.

“I’m not really worried about my stats,” Harris said. “I just worry about producing the best way I can to help the team win. As long as we got the W, we got it. I could have had 200-some yards tonight and we lost and it wouldn’t have meant much. I’m not a stat guy. We got the job done tonight and that’s all that matters.”

For the second straight week, Harris was the Packers’ primary ball carrier. Ryan Grant finished with 7 yards on 7 carries. Alex Green was active but did not play. There’s a growing confidence in the diminutive, yet powerful back who goes hard each carry. Overall, Harris earned trust on a big stage.

Green Bay eased Harris into the playbook, into more assignments on the field. Pass protection was an initial concern with the 5-foot-7 back. Against the Vikings, he got the Packers on board first with his second-effort, 9-yard touchdown run. After a dropped pass, he caught all five balls thrown his direction. There wasn’t much running room available as the game progressed, though Harris’ 17 carries did help Green Bay protect its lead.

In the locker room afterward, Harris again downplayed his rise from obscure free agent to starting running back on a Super Bowl contender.

“You never know what the future brings,” Harris said. “Tomorrow could be something else. You never know. You just have to be prepared for any type of situation that comes up.”
Green Bay will need to run the football better next week at San Francisco. The 49ers have the NFL’s fourth-ranked run defense. An honest T.J. Lang said afterward that Green Bay needs to be more productive in the run game. In the opener, Cedric Benson mustered 2 yards per carry on the ‘Niners.

Harris, for now, appears to be a major part of the Packers’ offense. And he says Green Bay can run on San Francisco.

“We just have to go to the drawing board and see what we need to do,” Harris said. “We’re capable of running on them. They can be ran on — just like anybody else could.”

Original story here

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